2005-07-15 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. SimonLew M. Simon

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23 rd A.D. art B

Now is the time for me to start speaking up. Many angry residents of Rockaway, Broad Channel and Breezy Point have been calling to tell me that they are outraged that the MTA Bridges and Tunnels E-ZPass has put in effect a $1 per month charge on your E-ZPass.

Those who remember our long battle to eliminate the toll on the Cross Bay Bridge for residents of Rockaway, Breezy Point and Broad Channel, know how hard we worked to win this fight. Many seniors got the E-ZPass only so that they can travel in our own community to do their daily chores. To put an unfair tax on them is ridiculous.

It reminds me of one of my pet peeves, the fee of $1.50 to $3.50 you may pay to use an ATM at a bank that is not your own bank, plus paying your own bank a fee.

It is now time for our state elected officials to put their foot down and stop these unfair charges.

We urge everyone to call our great friends Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer at 945-9550 and State Senator Malcolm Smith at 528-4290 and say Simon says no to unfair fees on our E-ZPass.

You also can call Congressman Anthony Weiner at 520-9001 to remind him to keep up the fight to end the ATM fees.

Two weeks ago we spoke out at a HPD hearing to approve an increase in carrying charges for residents of Dayton Towers Cooperative East and West. They want to raise the rents by nine percent the first year and five percent the second year.

We asked HPD to approve an increase no more than three percent each year.

We pointed out that the proposed increase was far above the increase in the cost of living.

Workers are not getting nine percent increases.

Social Security increases were under three percent.

Our Police, Firefighters and Teachers have not gotten any raises.

How can they expect the residents to pay these increases?

With the price of gas going up people have to choose among paying rent, eating, buying medicine and driving their car. We are well aware that the cost of heating buildings has gone up considerably, but let’s not make it hard on the shareholders.

It has come to my attention once again that New York City’s wonderful Parks Department has lied to the Rockaway community. Each year they issue a statement opening the beaches around Memorial Day. They promise all the lifeguards will be on duty by July 4.

It is now the week after July 4. Many beaches still have no lifeguards. On Sunday and Monday my phone rang off the hook. Residents of Belle Harbor were irate that, during this heat wave, they could not bathe and cool down with their family.

I reminded each and everyone to call Councilman Zero, Joe Addabbo. They told that they called his office with no results. Hew Joe, what do you know? More than three people called you with this problem.

What are you going to do?     

We read the article concerning the funds you secured. Did you forget lifeguards? That should be a major priority.

We suggest you call the Councilman’s office at 318-6411.

The 4th of July we had a great time at Pier 92.

We went to celebrate the birthday of our Ozone Park, Howard Beach coordinator Grace D’Agostino.

The food at Pier 92 is excellent.

The service by our waiter, Max, was excellent.

Our host at Pier 92 was none other than Dan Tubridy’s son Sean, who is following in his father’s footsteps of being a great statesman.

Pier 92 is an extremely reasonable place to eat.

It has a great outdoor deck with a pier to dock your boat.

You can enjoy the scenery with a view of the Cross Bay Bridge, Jamaica Bay, Rockaway and Broad Channel. That evening we had the best seats available for the great fireworks shows in the area including Macy’s.

If you have not found Pier 92 on Beach 92 Street in back of McDonalds, try it soon.

They have an early bird special from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

We are proud to announce that we are once again having Dancing Under the Stars thanks to Sweet-N-Low which gave me a grant. With Ellen Connolly and her dance center dancers will be presented on Tuesday and Friday from July 12 to August 12 at Beach 107 Street in the park. All are welcome to attend. A different dance wil be done each time.

On Tuesdays July 19, Rumba. July 26 Fox Trot, August 2 Night Out Against Crime-no dancing, August 9 Waltz, Fridays July 15 Swing, July 22 Hustle, July 29 Tango, August 5 Salsa and August 12 Cha Cha.

This is a chance for intergenerational dancing from great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers to grandma and grandpa, mom and dad and the kids. All are welcome. It is free, thanks to Sweet-N-Low and Lew Simon.   

On Sunday evening we attended the second concert in the RMAC series. This concert was dedicated to the late Leon Locke, owner of Rockaway’s WAVE newspaper, who just loved Rock N Roll. Kenny Vance and The Planetones, just put on a beautiful show for the over 750 people who attended. This indeed was a great treat. Kenny and his band’s talent are above and beyond. It was a great show and he is a great showman.

Leon Locke was probably responsible for the warm weather, and the bright sunshine over the Rockaways. We sure miss Leon, but you’ll never be forgotten.

We are saddened by the deaths of two fine gentlemen. Edward Gallagher was a Deputy Inspector General for the NYC Department of Investigation. He was a gentleman and a scholar and a walking resource of information. He was a great friend and confidante. I learned so much from him. Words cannot express the respect I had for him. We know God must have had a special place in heaven for this leader to lead. My deepest sympathy for the family.

We are also saddened by the death of John Vincent Ebert, a lifelong resident and a drug abuse counselor. He fought a long battle against cancer before passing away at the young age of 50. He leaves a lovely wife, Nancy, and two beautiful daughters. We know God had a special place in his kingdom in heaven for John.

To Nancy and the kids, keep your heads high, and know that you have a guardian angel in John. My deepest sympathy for the family.

Our next Atlantic City bus trip will be on Saturday July 16 to Trump Marina. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. We have 8 hours to enjoy. The cost is $33 with $25 returned. Bagels and cream cheese courtesy of Beach bagels.

Our next trip is on august 20. Make reservations by calling 945-1216. They are a must.

The city elections are coming. If you are not registered call my office to make an appointment to fill out the simple form.

Get involved with your community by joining the Good Government Regular Democratic club.

The dues are $25 for a family, $18 single and $12 Senior and Young Dems.

We welcome the interest. We have heard from Howard Beach in plans to improve transportation. They are discussing a Super A  Express with no stops in Brooklyn and revitalizing the old Rockaway line. I urged a Super A during my Council campaign in 2001 and hope to see the MTA consider it seriously.

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